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Informal urban areas form a large portion of the built fabric in many cities around the world. They often emerge in response to urban migration and the inability of cities to absorb population growth or provide affordable housing and adequate services within a planned urban framework.
While informal settlements are integral to the overall economy and livelihood of many cities, they are often spatially segregated and disconnected due to the absence of infrastructure. A lack of streets and open spaces that connect them to their surroundings can make the provision of basic services almost impossible.
As people continue to move to urban areas in search of jobs, there will be opportunities to ensure that the design of streets in new and existing settlements becomes a means for promoting strong, safe communities. Work with local communities on strategies to invest in the provision of local utilities, safe environments for walking and cycling, and increased public access and emergency services. The street can play a critical role in providing services for residents of informal neighborhoods, while minimizing displacement and improving overall connectivity and quality of life.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.